Some parents choose to sleep in a bed with their baby, perhaps because they are breastfeeding or to provide reassurance. Whatever your reason for bed sharing there are some important things to remember:
- Make sure the mattress is clean, firm and flat.
- Sleep facing baby - this helps to stop the baby moving up or down the bed and reduces the chances of you rolling onto them.
- Make sure that baby can’t fall out of bed or get stuck between the mattress and the wall -the best place for them to sleep is next to mum or dad, away from pillows.
- If there will be another adult or older sibling in the bed it is best to position yourself between the other adult/older sibling and your baby.
- If you bring baby into the bed during the night wake anyone else in the bed to let them know what you are doing to help stop them accidently rolling on to baby.
- Make sure the bedding doesn’t cover your baby’s face or head – don’t let them sleep under a duvet or with pillows. Instead use lightweight blankets or sheets.
There are things we know increase the risk of baby dying in their sleep.
Never share a bed with your baby if you have recently drunk alcohol or taken drugs (legal or illegal) as this makes you less responsive.
Don’t use waterbeds, electric blankets or bean bags.
Never leave your baby alone in the bed as they are at risk of falling out or wriggling into a dangerous position.
Don’t share a bed with your baby if you or your partner smoke as this increases the risk of them dying.
Avoid having pets or cuddly toys in the bed.